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Glossary
Airway Distance The actual (as opposed to straight line) distance flown by the aircraft between two points, after deviations required by air traffic control and navigation along established routes. The difference between this and straight line distance will vary throughout the country.
Amphibious Floats Floats or "pontoons" equipped with retractable wheels that permit the aircraft to operate from paved airports.
Airport Reservation Office Staffed by the FAA, this entity allocates landing and take-off reservations for unscheduled aircraft in and out of the following airports: JFK, LGA, EWR, DCA, ORD.
Block Rates A lower "contract rate" for scheduling significant amounts of charter time in advance on a pre-arranged agreement.
Block Speed The average speed over a specific distance "block-to block", or door-to-door with respect to the airport gate.
Bill Margin The difference between the flight charges assessed by the charter operator and the flight charges assessed by the charter broker.
Certificate FAA-issued license (in this context sometimes referred to as ticket, part 135 license, etc.) to carry passengers for hire.
Charter Broker A company or individual that buys charter air. The broker is responsible for payment to the charter provider, for assessing end-user taxes and fees, and for ensuring their customer's safety and satisfaction. A charter operator may act as a broker to provide supplemental lift to their customer.
Charter Operator A company or individual that holds aircraft charter certificates and provides charter services to retail and wholesale customers.
Commuter Operator A regional, scheduled airline. In this book limited to that operator with adequate fleet capacity as to be available of charter. Not all commuter airlines charter, because of the limitations of aircraft and crew availability.
Corporate Operator A company flight department that has earned a part 135 certificate to carry passengers for compensation.
Cruise Speed Cruise speed is the normal speed attained at altitude once the aircraft is no longer climbing and is en route.
D-085 Page 85, section D, of an operator's federally mandated Operations Manual. This certified page lists all aircraft that the operator may legally offer for charter.
Deadhead Term is applied to company employees or spouses, who were strapped into otherwise empty seats to give the appearance of high business volume.
Duty Time That portion of the day when a crew member is on duty in any capacity (not just in the air). This can be a constraint on long day-trips, as there are FAA-imposed limits on the amount of time allowed on duty.
Empty Leg Also known as "one-way availability". Since charter trips typically charge for round trip travel, empty legs can often represent relative bargains.
FBO Fixed-base operator, which represents a large majority of the air charter industry. By definition at a permanent location, this is a vendor of services, maintenance, fuel, flight instruction, and aircraft sales, in addition to charter.
Fleet Manager A commercial aviation entity developed to subcontract the maintenance and operation of corporate aircraft, which are often chartered out to the general public.
Flight Time That portion of the trip actually spent in the air. For billing purposes this definition is strict and applies from moment of lift-off to moment of touch-down.
General Aviation That portion of aviation other than military or commercial scheduled operations. Most major metropolitan airports tend to have a separate "general aviation" terminal, where a chartered flight is likely to depart or arrive
Great Circle Distance The shortest distance between two points on a globe
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Flight in clouds.
Instrument Landing System (ILS) Low-level approach equipment at certain airports. Its presence is benefit to travel planner because instrument landing system improves trip reliability as closely as possible to the level of scheduled airlines.
Indepentent Operator A charter operator that does not meet the definition of FBO or commuter, but may not be involved in contract management of aircraft.
Layover A night spent in the middle of the trip in a city other than home base for the aircraft and crew.
Leg Describes one direction of travel between two points.
Lift Any aircraft engaged for transport.
Medivac Medical evacuation usually emergency.
Part 91 The set of federal regulations that govern private aircraft use.
Part 135 The set of federal regulations that govern the commercial hire of jets.
Positioning Ferrying aircraft for departure from other than originating airport.
Positioning A vessel designed with internal ribbing to permit the support of stacked containers.
Positioning Time Time estimated for an aircraft to travel to the trip departure position.
Propjet A propeller driven airplane, in which the engine is a jet turbine rather than piston driven.
Ramp The apron or open "tarmac" in form of an FBO or terminal facility. This space is busy, used for deplanement, parking of aircraft, etc.
Repositioning Time Time estimated for an aircraft to return to its based position after completion of a passenger segment..
Segment Describes the unit of flight between take-off and landing. Sometimes used interchangeably with the term leg.
Stage Length Distance of itinerary non-stop leg.
Taxi Time That portion of the trip spent rolling between the gate, terminal, or RAMP and runway.
Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Flight out of clouds.
Waiting Time That time that the chartered aircraft and crew must wait on the ground during any portion of the trip.